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A Devotees Contract

A Devotees contract

Blank verse translation of a song by Purandara Dasa:

O Ranga, let there be an oath on me, and an oath also on you (An oath is taken forsaking the doing of
certain acts; this is done by making someone as the arbitrator). Let us both take an Oath on your devotees.

I take an oath prohibiting myself from singing the praise of anyone other than you; you take an oath
prohibiting yourself from leaving my hand ever.

May I be condemned if I cheat in body and mind, O Ranga; may you be condemned if you dont ensure
that my mind is fixed on you.

May I be condemned if I cultivate the company of unworthy persons; may you be condemned if you dont
ensure that I give up love for this world.

May I be condemned if I dont develop the company of noble persons, O Ranga; may you be condemned if
you dont ensure that I give up the company of wicked persons.

May I be condemned, O Hari, if I dont seek your protection; O Purandara Vithala, may you be
condemned if you are not benign to me.

Prose translation of the song by Purandara Dasa:

O Ranga, let us both promise something to each other. And let your devotees be the arbitrators of
the promises we make to each other. Let your devotees stand witness to the promises we make here and
let them evaluate how far both of us keep our words.

I promise to take only your name; I promise that I will take no one elses help in every situation
but yours. You promise yourself binding you to help me in all situations; you promise that you will never
desert me under any situation. And let your devotees stand witness over this contract we make between
ourselves. May we be condemned forever if we do not live up to our promises.

I promise that I will dedicate my entire body and mind to you; I promise that this body and mind
of mine will do nothing except your work. You promise that you will ensure you will keep my mind
concentrated on you always; you promise to keep my mind constantly attracted to you. And let your
devotees stand witness over this contract we make between ourselves. May we be condemned forever if
we do not live up to our promises.

I promise that I will not cultivate the company of wretched men of this world; I promise that I
will have nothing to do with the people of this world. You promise that you will ensure I give up all
connections with this world; you promise that you will erase all attraction that I have for the things of this
world; you promise that you will lift me up from this morass. And let your devotees stand witness over
this contract we make between ourselves. May we be condemned forever if we do not live upto our
promises.

I promise that I will cultivate the company of only noble people here on earth; I promise that I
will keep myself only in the company of righteous, noble persons. You promise that you will sever all my
connections with wretched people; you promise that you will prevent me from being in the company of
bad people of this world. And let your devotees stand witness over this contract we make between
ourselves. May we be condemned forever if we do not live upto our promises.

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A Devotees Contract

I promise that I will always and in every situation seek only your protection; I promise that I will
always look up to you for my well-being. You promise that you will always honor my prayer for your
help; you promise that you will be forever gracious on me. And let your devotees stand witness over this
contract we make between ourselves. May we be condemned forever if we do not live up to our promises.

Lecture:

We take oaths on innumerable issues; we take oaths on all sorts of people. But this saint
Purandara Dasa takes an oath for Devotion to God. And he takes the oath on God himself!

The song has many aspects of this oath that Purandara Dasa takes. The particular statement that I
have selected for special attention in my lecture today are May I be condemned if I dont develop the
company of noble persons, O Ranga; may you be condemned if you dont ensure that I give up the
company of wicked persons.

In order to please God and have His direct vision, many plans will have to be made and executed.
We will need to keep our entire mind on Him solely, to the exclusion of all other thoughts. We will need
to reject all supports of all things & people and depend solely on Him for all we require. We will need to
offer our entire body, mind & possessions at His feet and keep our entire mind on Him. In this way, many
exercises will be needed to obtain His grace. However, if all these various plans must become fruitful, and
if we wish to proceed quickly on the path of realizing Him directly, we will need to give attention to two
important ideas. Which are those two ideas?

Keeping company of noble people; and staying far away from wicked people.

If we do not keep company of noble souls, we cannot imbibe any noble qualities. If we do not
keep company of noble souls, knowledge, devotion and dispassion do not arise in us. However, before we
nurture the company of noble souls, we need to give attention to another more important issue and that is
staying away from the company from wicked people. All the noble qualities that we gain in the company
of noble souls are burnt to ashes in the company of wicked fellows. Even a monk falls in the company of
the wicked says a famous adage in our language. In the company of the worldly-minded people, when
even a monk can have a fall from his ideals, what to speak of ordinary people! The Narada Bhakti Sutras
says - nqLl~x% loZFkSo R;kT;% - Wicked people have to be kept far away by all means. Look at the
way this saint Purandara Dasa says the same thing: May I be condemned if I dont develop the company
of noble persons, O Ranga; may you be condemned if you dont ensure that I give up the company of
wicked persons.

I will strive and keep the company of the noble souls. However, it is you that has to dissolve the
bad company that I keep and keep the bad persons away from me! Observe the interesting thing here!
Purandara Dasa has allotted the job of keeping the bad persons away from him to the Lord himself! Why
would he have done that? We ourselves can keep them far away from us, cant we? Or we ourselves can
run away from vicious people, cant we? No. That is not possible. Wicked people are like leaches! They
stick to us like leaches, simply refusing to go away from us, once they have come in contact with us! You
may ask, why get into their company at all, in the first place? Why not reject them right from the
beginning? Well, the trouble is, to the superficial observer, these wicked people appear to be a thousand
times better than the noble souls! Just observe the way these wicked ones deal with us. Again, observe the
way in which we ourselves deal with these wicked souls for the first time. If some well-wisher warns us,
Look here. These fellows are rogues; dont deal with them; later on you will repent having made contact
with them. Do we listen to such well-wishers? No. Not just that, we in turn tell those well-wishers,
What do you know? They are extremely good people. Dont I understand who is good and who is bad?

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Am I such a fool? It seems you dont like these people. That is the reason you are talking like this. In this
way, we perhaps keep those well-wishers themselves far away from us! And we may gloat before those
wicked people, Look here. So and so tried to break our friendship. I blasted him and sent him away.
Wicked people have such an aura innocence about themselves that it makes us behave in this manner.
However, this aura of innocence is but a mask that they all wear when they meet us in the beginning of a
toxic relationship. If a person gets into the company of wicked people, it means that he has been sucked
into a whirlpool of the river Vishalskshi1. No one can lift him up from there. Even he himself cannot
bring himself out of that whirlpool. God alone can save him when he is sucked into the infamous
Vishalakshis whirlpool. Therefore Purandara Dasa says, O Ranga; may you be condemned if you dont
ensure that I give up the company of wicked persons.

Good people remain as good people. But many times, wicked people appear as good souls.
Hence, it becomes difficult to distinguish between who exactly is a good man and who is bad. If sand is
mixed with sugar, it becomes very difficult to separate one from the other. If real diamonds are kept along
with fake diamonds, it becomes very difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish the real from the fake
ones. However, here Purandara Dasa is saying, O Ranga, I will cultivate the company of good people
myself; but it is you that has to keep me away from the wicked ones. If I have to cultivate the company
of good people, I need to know very clearly who the good people are, what their qualities are, what their
nature is, etc.

In the Nitishataka, the poet-King Bhartrihari says,

Rk`".kka fNfUn Hkt {keka tfg ena ikis jfra ek d`Fkk%


lR;a czwfg vuq;kfg lk/kqinoha lsoLo fo}Ttuku~ A
ekU;ku~ eku; fof}"kksI;uqu; iz[;ki; Loku~ xq.kku~
dhfrZa iky; nq%[krs dqjq n;ka ,rRlrka y{k.ke~AA
One should have renounced all desires, be filled with compassion, killed all arrogance in
oneself, renounced ones evil tendencies, speak the truth always, always stick to the path of righteousness,
serve the learned ones, revere the worthy people, pacify ones enemies, manifest only good qualities,
protect ones honour, sympathise with the suffering people such a one is a good soul.

In the same Nitishataka, Bhartrihari says a related thing:

/kfuuksfi fujqUeknk% ;kSouksfi u p~pyk%A


izHkoksI;izeRrkLrs egkefgekkfyu%AA
Truly great men, even though they be extremely rich, they will have absolutely no arrogance.
Truly great men remain free from temptations even during their youth. Truly great men, even when they
occupy positions of great power, do not lose their alertness.

Just see how grand each description is! Generally, we see arrogance in rich people. In addition,
we see that generally good and noble people are not rich. However, the idea is that, suppose the good and
noble people are rich, they will not be arrogant. Then take the case of youth. There is no telling what all
types of temptations a man is exposed to, in the brink of manhood. However, a good man, a noble person,
even during his youth, would have protected himself from all temptations and would have lead a pure life.

1 Vishalakshi is a proverbial river used in many Indian languages, especially Bengali. India has many rivers which run through
tough terrains, thereby developing innumerable whirlpools. These whirlpools are the gates of death to innumerable people every
year all over the country. Hence, the usage has entered into the common mans language in this manner.

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Lastly, power! When a person obtains power in the society, he loses himself. Nevertheless, when a noble
person rises to a position of power in society, he will not lose himself. The position sits very lightly on
him. Such are the descriptions of a truly noble person.

There is a Sanskrit drama called Mricchakatika. In that drama, we come across an observation,
and that is as follows: He who helps a man in distress indeed lives a full life; just as a tree laden with
fruits bends down due to the weight of its fruits, so does a man filled with noble qualities stay in touch
with the masses at the grass-roots; he whose family has many noble people indeed lives a full life; he
whose personality serves as a beacon light for even the educated people in society, he indeed lives a full
life; he who is an ocean of goodness indeed lives a full life; he who respects everyone, he who does not
insult anyone, he who behaves with correctness and large-heartedness indeed lives a full life. Rest of the
people merely breathe and survive.

The way noble people behave is indeed something that will surprise us and be of great interest to
us. When we closely observe their behaviour, we see that this is indeed the case. Listen to what
Bhartrihari has to say in this regard:

uezrsuksUueUr% ijxq.kdFkuS% LokUxq.kku~ [;ki;Ur%


LokFkZku~ laikn;Urks forr izFkqrjkEHk;Urk% ijkFkZsA
{kkUR;Sok{ksi:{kk{kj eq[kj eq[kku~ nqeZq[kku~ nw"k;Ur%
lUr% lkp;Zp;kZ txfr cgqerk% dL; ukH;pZuh;k%AA
The secret behind the exalted status of these noble persons is their humility! Always and in every
circumstance, they will remain humble and raise themselves above mediocrity! Noble people have a great
desire to exhibit their noble qualities and that the masses must come to recognise those noble qualities.
However, if they speak about their own qualities, it will lead to egotism. Therefore, their plan is to sing
whole-heartedly the praises of the good qualities in the people around them! By this cunning subterfuge,
they actually exhibit their own noble qualities, says Bhartrihari. The poet further notes that these noble
people achieve their own lives goal by serving others around them. They punish the bad-mouthed people
by their kind words! Bhartrihari ends by asking, Who indeed will not worship such noble souls?

Yet another description of the noble people is as follows:

Ukyksd% fdz;rs lw;kZs Hkw izrhi u /kk;ZrAs


u fg izR;qidkjk.kka vis{kk lRlq fo|rsAA
The sun burns relentlessly and gives us light. However, there is no need of another light to reveal
the sun itself. Earth supports all of us very carefully all the time. However, there is nothing else that
supports the Earth itself. In fact, Earth does not need such a support either. Similarly, noble souls keep on
helping others, and do not expect anything in return.

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Take a look at this sloka which says:

xq.knks"kkS cq/kks x`.ku~ bUnq{osMkfoosoj%A


fkjlk 'yk?krs iwoZa dUFks fu;"NfrAA
The Almighty Lord has kept both the moon and the primal poison Kaalakuta2 on himself. He
has kept the moon on his forehead and the primal poison in his throat. By shaking his head, the Lord
reveals the beauty of the moon. Nevertheless, the poison he has kept in his throat because, if he swallows
it, he himself will be in trouble; and if he spits it out, the entire world will be in danger of getting burnt!
Similarly, noble souls appreciate the good qualities of others by shaking their head3 to those qualities.
Nevertheless, all the drawbacks of people, these noble souls keep suppressed in their throats, which
means, they do not speak of those drawbacks at all. Everyone will have some drawback or the other.
What indeed is the utility of speaking about it? Just as there is danger in swallowing the poison and in
spitting it out, similarly, there is danger if we take in others drawbacks in us, and there is danger if we
spit it out in the form of telling about them to others! Therefore, noble souls allow these drawbacks to lie
inside their own throats. The gist of this observation is that noble souls speak only of the good qualities of
others. They behave as if they have not even recognized the faults of others around them.

Yet another distinguishing feature of noble souls is that even when they are in trouble, they
manifest only good qualities. There is a sloka that says:

vkinr% dqyq egkk;pdzorhZ foLrkj;R;d`riwoZeqnkj Hkkoe~A


dkykx#nZgue|xr% leUrkr~ yksdksRrja ifjeya izdVhdjksfrAA
Incense always gives out sweet fragrance. When you throw it on burning coal or if you light it on
fire, it does not give off any repulsive smell but its fragrance increases even more. In a similar manner,
noble souls remain noble at all times and under all circumstances. But when they start facing troubles,
which is when you see them manifest unprecedented nobility in their personalities.

There is a shloka from the Nitishataka that Swami Vivekananda referred to repeatedly.

fuUnUrq uhfrfuiq.kk% ;fn ok LrqoUrq


y{kh% lekfokrq xPNrq ok ;Fks"Be~A
v|S; ok ej.keLrq ;qxkUrjs ok
U;;kr~ iFkkr~ izfopyfUr ina u /khjk%AA
Some people consider a noble soul as namby-pamby or a weakling. Bhartrihari calls them as
Brave heroes. How does their strength manifest itself? They never swerve from the path of rectitude.
The common run of people do follow the narrow path of rectitude when things go as per their
convenience. (Of course, sometimes, even that doesnt happen!) But stout-hearted noble souls do not
swerve from the path of righteousness under any circumstance, no matter how trying it be. People of the
society may praise them or blame them, money may come or they may lose it, death may stare them in the
face or gradually approach them decades later; in this way, any sort of adversity may come, noble souls
will not swerve from their paths at all.

2 This has reference to the imagery of Lord Shiva from Indian mythology. He is depicted as adorning the moon on his head as an
ornament. Elsewhere in Indian mythology, there is a story of the gods churning the mythical ocean, which released the deadly
poison Kaalakuta. This poison was about to kill all living beings on Earth. Lord Shiva is supposed to have scooped up the entire
poison in his hands and drank it. But, he did not swallow it. So the poison got lodged in his throat giving it a dark blue hue.
3 Shaking their heads means nodding, giving approval to something.

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eufl opfl dk;s iq.;ih;w"kiw.kZk%


frzHkqoueqidkj Jsf.kfHk% izh.k;Ur%A
ijxq.kijek.kwu~ ioZrhd`R;fuR;a
futgzfn fodlUr% lfUr lUr% fd;Ur%AA
Ambrosia is filled in the mind, body and speech of noble souls. By their various kinds of noble
deeds, they keep on bringing joy to the three worlds4. They keep on magnifying even the slightest good
qualities in others and get tremendous joy from that.

We realize the great difference between the nature of ordinary people and noble souls from this
wonderful observation. We all know too well how ordinary people behave. Even if they find the slightest
fault in others, they blow it out of proportion and herald it in front of others, reveling in the insult that the
poor person experiences.

There is a statement that is made in the Bhagavatam:

Hkwrkuka nsopfjra nq%[kk; p lq[kk; pA


lq[kk;So fg lk/kwuka Rokn`kka vP;qrkReuke~AA
The gods bestow both happiness and sorrow to creatures that live in this world. But the noble
ones, who are devotees of the Lord, give only joy to others.

These devotees of the Lord, these noble souls how exactly do they give joy to others?

,skxPN lekJ;klufena dLekfPpjkn`;ls


dkokrZk frnqcZyksfl dqkya izhrksfLe rs nkZue~A
,soa ;s leqikxrku~ iz.kf;u% izg~ykn;UR;knjkr~
rs"kka ;qDrekfUdrsu eulk eZkf.k xUrqa lnkAA
When you go to the houses of these noble souls, they say, Welcome, do come in! Please sit here
on this chair. Its been long since we met, isnt it? How are things with you? You seem to have lost some
weight. Hope everything is all right. I am extremely happy to see you today. With these words of great
intimacy, generating feelings of closeness, they speak to us. Who indeed wouldnt wish to visit such
sweet persons and cultivate their company?

There is great peace of mind and joy within us when we cultivate the company of such noble
souls, such great persons, such virtuous souls. Moreover, the words they speak will be equal to the words
of scriptures.

mipfjrO;k% lUr% ;|fi dFk;fUr uSdeqinske~A


;Lrs"kka LoSjdFkkLrk ,o Hkofr 'kkLkkf.kAA
Noble souls may not always give advice, may not always give guidance. Yet, it is beneficial for
us to cultivate their company, to honor them, to serve them. Why? Because, once in a while, when it
strikes their fancy, the words that fall out of their mouth are equal to words of the Scripture!

4Indian languages repeatedly refer to the three worlds. This is due to the influence of the Vedic idea of Bhu, Bhuvaha & Svaha
the three worlds referring to the three states of waking, dreaming & deep sleep.

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v~tfyLFkkfu iq"ikf.k okl;fUr dj};e~A


vgks lqeulka izhfr% okejf{k.k;ks% leAA
When you hold flowers in your hands, do the flowers give their scent only to your right hand?
Dont the flowers smear their fragrance to both the hands? In a similar way, noble souls love everyone
equally, because they dont expect anything from anyone. Holy Mother Sri Sharada Devi once told a
small girl, Look here, you must love everyone in your house equally. Do you understand me? To that,
the girl replied, Alright. Holy Mother asked her again, How will you love everyone equally? That girl
didnt know how to answer this question. Then Holy Mother herself tells the girl, See, dont expect
anything from anyone in your house. Then you will be able to love everyone in your house equally.
When we expect that such and such a person should have done this for me, or that such and such a person
should have given me this or that thing, we may face disappointment. We will feel grieved towards the
persons who disappointed us, who didnt live up to our expectations. In other words, only when we direct
all our expectations from the Lord, and nothing from anyone else here on Earth, we will develop the
capability to love everyone equally. The paradigm of the noble souls is as explained by Purandara Dasa in
another beautiful song as follows:

They that give are indeed good; not less those who do not; it is good to be King; but I am fine
with being a beggar too; what matters it to me if some speak to me with goodwill and good humor, as
long as my mind dwells on the holy feet of Lord Hari, I feelthey that give are indeed good, etc!

fdEe/kquk fda fo/kquk fda lq/k;k fda olq/k;kf[ky;k


;fn n;gkfj pfjr% iqjq"k% iqujsfr u;u;ksju;e~AA
It is good if we get honey, because it is very sweet to taste. The full moon is pleasing to the eye,
and is soothing on the skin. Hence we are all very happy when the moon rises. It is good if we get
Ambrosia, because there is no other food that is tastier. If we inherit a vast estate, there is greater joy,
because we can live a life without any more cares. True. All these are true indeed. But, if we get the
company of noble souls whose behavior is attuned to ours, we need neither honey, nor the moon, nor
Ambrosia, nor even a vast estate! Because, all these fade before the worth of a truly noble soul!

xaxk ikia 'kkh rkia nSU;a dYirjqLrFkkA


ikia rkia p nSU;a p gfUr lUrks egkk;k%AA
The Ganges removes all our sins. The full moon soothes our scorched skin. The Kalpavriksha
(wish-fulfilling tree) removes all our wants. But the pure character of noble souls removes all our sins;
their ambrosial words soothes our burning mind; their supreme dignity removes all our feelings of
scarcity. Thus, the company of noble souls confers all benefits on us.

xq.ko}Lrq lalxZkr~ ;kfr uhpksfi xkSjoe~A


iq"iekykizl~xsu lw=a fkjfl /kk;ZrsAA
Through the company of noble souls endowed with all virtues, even a nobody gets lot of respect.
Since a piece of thread is associated with flowers, dont we wear that thread on our heads?

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What the company of noble souls can confer on us is elaborated clearly in this shloka:

TkM~ /khjks gjfr flpfr okfp lR;e~A


ekukskfra fnkfr ikiekidjksfrAA
psr% izlkn;fr fn{kq ruksfr dhfrZe~A
lRl~xfr% dFk; fda u djksfr iqalke~AA
1. The laziness embedded in our intellect is banished.
2. Our words become truthful; in other words, their company makes us speak the truth.
3. Their company keeps our mind joyful.
4. Our fame spreads everywhere due to their company.
Indeed, what can this wonderful company of noble souls not confer on us!

Look at the life of Emperor Chhatrapathi Shivaji. It is clear that owing to his close contact with
the saint Samarth Ramdas, his glory touched the skies!

It is because the company of noble souls5 is so very potent6 that Purandara Dasa takes an oath on
himself: May I be condemned if I dont develop the company of noble persons, O Ranga. But in the
same breath, he takes an oath in the name of the Lord, O Ranga, may you be condemned if you dont
ensure that I give up the company of wicked persons. Purandara Dasa seeks nothing less than a direct
intervention from the Lord himself for becoming free from the contact of wicked people. The sooner you
free yourself from their clutches, so much the better for you. There is a shloka in the vj.;[k.M of the
jkek;.k:

vdqoUZ rksfi ikikfu 'kqp;% ikilaJ;kr~A


ijikiSfou;fUr eRL;k uxns ;FkkAA
Good people may not themselves do bad things, but they fall into the clutches of wicked people
and go to ruin! Just as fishes get destroyed in the vicinity of snakes. This simile may require a little
explanation. The idea is like this: Eagles feed on snakes. So, eagles roam over ponds that have snakes.
They regularly swoop down, pick up a snake in their beak, and fly away. Once in a while, what happens is

5 Noble souls have the following qualities: Renounced all desires, compassion, no arrogance (even if one is rich), erased evil
tendencies, speak the truth always, always stick to the path of righteousness (behaves impeccably, even in the face of death!),
serve the learned ones, revere the worthy people, pacify ones enemies, manifest only good qualities (even when they are in
trouble), protect ones honour, sympathise with the suffering people (and helps those in distress), free from temptations even in
their youth, extremely alert (even if powerful), stays in touch with grass-roots masses, family has many noble people, personality
serves as a beacon-light for even the educated people, insults no one, large-hearted, humility, always highlights the goodness in
others around them (silently ignoring others drawbacks), help others without expecting anything in return (without any thought
about their own self-interest!), brave even in the face of death, sweet in thought-word-deed, give only joy to others, generally
dont give advice or guidance but once in a while say stuff that is can change ones entire life, loves everyone equally (by
expecting nothing from anyone)

6The advantages of cultivating noble company are: their pure character of noble souls removes all our sins; their ambrosial words
soothes our burning mind; their supreme dignity removes all our feelings of scarcity. Through the company of noble souls
endowed with all virtues, even a nobody gets lot of respect. The laziness embedded in our intellect is banished. Our words
become truthful; in other words, their company makes us speak the truth. Their company keeps our mind joyful. Our fame
spreads everywhere due to their company.

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that instead of a snake, a fish is caught! Similarly, merely by the interaction with wicked folks, noble
souls get into trouble.

The personality of wicked people is poisonous. In the book dqoyk;uUn, there is this beautiful
verse: O gkykgy poison, do not be proud that you are the best among the wicked! There are many words
of the wicked, as poisonous as you, if not more, floating around in the world, hurting people to no end!

The company of the wicked leads us to shame and dishonour at every step. The company of the
wicked is the surest way for personal dishonour. The company of the wicked brings pain and suffering at
every step. Its because of irons intimacy with fire that it takes the repeated beatings from the hammer of
the blacksmith. It is very interesting to note the comparison of a wicked man to a poisonous snake. The
scathing words & actions of the wicked people are likened to the virulent poison of a snake. If a snake
bites someone, he alone dies. But if a wicked man bites the ears of one man, some other man dies! How
terrifyingly interesting! But how does this happen? Bites the ears of one man means character
assassination of a person with some other person. The Nitishataka describes the wicked persons very
beautifully:

,rs lRiq#"kk ijkFkZ/kVdk% LokFkZa ifjR;T;;sA


lkekU;kLrq ijkFkZeq|eHk`r% LokFkZkfojks/ksu ;sAA
rsfe ekuq"kjk{klk% ijfgra LokFkZk; fu/ufr ;sA
;s fu/ufr fujFkZda ijfgra rs dsu tkuhegsAA
Noble souls are those who help others even by ignoring their own self-interest. The common
folks are those who help others only if their own self-interest is not harmed. The wicked ones are those
who destroy others happiness so that their own self-interest is served. There is one more category of
people who destroy others happiness for no apparent reason! We dont know what to call those people!
This shloka shows us the absurd limits to which man takes wickedness!

It is said that if vultures alight over your house, there may be a calamity in your house in the near
future. But if a wicked man is anywhere near your house, you can be sure of immediate calamity visiting
you!

Hypocrites hide their real nature and deal with others. It is not possible to predict what they will
do when. They will put us into deep trouble at the right time!

When they need some help from us, these wicked fellows approach us with great humility. But
after the job is done, they stand up against us and call forth our ruin!

Poison is lodged in the teeth of the snake called r{kd. Wasp has it in its head7. Scorpion has its
poison in its tail. But wicked people have poison in every cell of their body. The mind of the wicked
people is full of poison, and so is it in their words, and in their deeds!

The earth is not burdened by trees, neither by great big mountains, nor by the vast, deep oceans.
But there is one burden mother earth cannot bear, and that is the burden of the wicked souls, who have
absolutely no feeling for the poor and suffering fellow-beings!

jkek;.k, in its ;q)[k.M, says this:


7 This again is a belief that is repeatedly seen in the Indian literature, that wasps have their poison in their heads.

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nqtZuL; 'oiqPNL; O;kyL;ks"VxyL; pA


u eU=S% vkS"k/kSoZkfi _tqrk tkrq tk;rsAA
Wicked people, dogs tail, snake and camels neck none of these can be straightened either by
casting any magic spell, nor by administering any medicine!

A poet very beautifully depicts the vicious nature of the words uttered by wicked people as
follows: O dkydwV poison! How wonderful is the steady but gradual upgradation in your social status!
Tell me, who tutored you in this elevation? First, you were in the middle of the ocean. Then you reached
the throat of the Lord Shiva. Now you are in the words of the wicked!

ijfNs"kq n;a ijokrZklq Jo%A


ijeeZf.k okpa p [kykuka vl`tr~ fof/k%AA
A mind that only seeks the faults of others, ears that listen only to news about others, words that
rip the heart off other people these three, the Creator created only for the wicked people! In other words,
wicked people possess the faculty of seeing only others faults, they are interested only in getting news
about others, they only utter words that hurt the hearts and sentiments of other people.

eq[ka in~enykdkja ok.kh pUnukhrykA


n;a drZjhrqY;a f=fo/ka /kwrZ y{k.ke~AA
Wicked people have three distinguishing qualities their faces are very pleasing like the lotus in
full bloom; their words are soft and soothing; their hearts are sharper than a pair of scissors!

otZuh;ks efrerk nqtZu% l[;oSj;ks%A


'ok Hkofr vi?kkrk; fygkfi nkkfiAA
Friendship should never be cultivated with wicked people; but you must not antagonize them
either; it is like a rabid dog there is danger if it licks us with love or if it bites us with anger! Hence
wicked people should always and in every way be shunned. How beautifully this sloka elaborates the idea
of the Narada Bhakti Sutra mentioned earlier in this lecture - nqLl~x% loZFkSo R;kT;%

;ksxokfl"Bsays: It is good to be a snake in a dark cave, it is good to be a worm or insect living in


between rocks, it is good to be a limping camel in the waterless desert, but let me have no truck with
lowly, wicked people at all!

Thus there has been an effort to enlighten us about the myriad wickedness8 of wicked people.

8The hallmarks of a wicked person are: in their company, we go to ruin! Their personality is poisonous. Their words are
poisonous & hurtful. The company of the wicked leads us to shame and dishonour at every step. The company of the wicked
brings pain and suffering at every step. They harm others for no reason! They are hypocrites and hide their real face from us.
When they need some help from us, these wicked fellows approach us with great humility. But after the job is done, they stand up
against us and call forth our ruin! The mind of the wicked people is full of poison, and so is it in their words, and in their deeds!
Wicked people possess the faculty of seeing only others faults, they are interested only in getting news about others, they only
utter words that hurt the hearts and sentiments of other people. Wicked people have three distinguishing qualities their faces are
very pleasing like the lotus in full bloom; their words are soft and soothing; their hearts are sharper than a pair of scissors!

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Can a man live by ingesting poison? Can a man survive by inhaling poisonous gas? Similar is the
company of the wicked. It is only you, O Lord, who can save me from the company of such wicked
people, only you can protect me from their company. If you dont, fie on you! I take this oath on you, on
your devotees, if you dont wean me away and protect me from their company, says Purandara Dasa.

**********************

Translation of Saturday evening lecture (sometime in the 1980s) at Ramakrishna Math, Bangalore by Rev Swami
Purushottamanandaji Maharaj, titled Yenagu Aane, ninagu aane.

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